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article by: Michael Canter

02 July 2012

Top 25 Spins For June 2012


(The Wanton Looks - photo credit Michelle Heyden)

This is a Listener's Poll based upon user ratings from Jivewired Radio and at Jivewired.com for the period of June 1, 2011 through June 30, 2011 inclusive. Listeners can rate songs through an application on our radio player. A minimum of 100 Total Listens for the month is required to qualify.

Total Listens is defined as the number of times a song is played times the number of listeners online when the song is aired with the number of drops (listeners who log off during the song) subtracted.  
(Total Plays x Total Listeners) - Total Drops = Total Listens


  • You can listen to the monthly Top 25 Spins each Wednesday evening on Jivewired Radio beginning at 8 PM EST.

Our mission at Jivewired Radio: Promote indie artists and their music. The music we play on Jivewired Radio (powered by Live365) is made available to you by artists and labels. If there's a particular artist or band you really dig on, show some love; click a link, buy a LP, go to a show and spread the word.

You can listen by clicking on the following link: Launch Jivewired Radio

Songs and/or albums can be purchased by clicking on any album artwork and you can use the mini-reviews as a guideline. We've notated outside sources for content, and we hope those writers are cool with that. If not, going forward, we'll write up something for each artist.

***** PROGRAMING DISCLAIMER: Our first option is to purchase music directly from the bands included in this list and for all music played on Jivewired Radio. Jivewired buys secondarily from iTunes and Amazon where albums are not available on a band's home website or designated choice for purchase.

All linkage redirects to Amazon and iTunes because we grab album art form their websites. Where you purchase your music is your choice. We encourage you to visit each band's website to purchase music from their designated online storefront. Just GOOGLE 'em!


Listener's Poll Top 25 Spins For May 2012

01. 86 Me by The Wanton Looks
from the album The Wanton Looks
Label: HAUGHTY EYES RECORDS



Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

Though The Wanton Looks were probably not even born at the time,  the all-female Chicago quartet appear to have a direct line back to early 1980s L7, back when punk and garage rock were not a term of abuse or dilution and alt-fashion and resistance to New Romaticism was on par with an anti-nuclear protest.  Look, The Wanton Looks bring the heat - the guitars are detonative, the bass lines are aureate and those female voices resemble sirens, coaxing you on to their rocks with angst and fury and swimming in lust and extravagance , i.e. wantonness.  Bombshells.  Sirens.  Incendiary. Yes, the band is aptly named.  The music is just as sexy.
~Jivewired (read our review)


02. Take Me With You When You Go by Jack White
from the album Blunderbuss
Label: THIRD MAN RECORDS



Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

Within White's oeuvre, Blunderbuss hangs in a kind of limbo-- it's closer to earth than his fantastic White Stripes yet further away than the sometimes-pedestrian Raconteurs or Dead Weather. It's got some of his best pure songwriting yet, but no earth-cracking riffs. Still, as a treatise on loss and its schizophrenic aftermath, Blunderbuss is a purposeful success.
~Pitchfork Magazine


03. Friends Of Friends by Hospitality
from the album Hospitality
Label: MERGE RECORDS



Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

This album is about the comings and goings that can consume a certain kind of twentysomething's life, about fuguing and settling and sometimes not being able to tell one from the other. This album is also very fun, perhaps because, as [lead singer Amber] Papini has wandered into her 30s, she seems to have realized that none of that really goes away, it just gets easier, or at least starts to seem bearably silly. In these songs, quietly groovy drumbeats turn fully danceable in the flick of an instant, shimmering Afropoppy guitar rains down like confetti, whole brass sections seem to barge in and sneak away and climb back in through some window.
~Pitchfork Magazine


04.  Parted Ways by Heartless Bastards
from the album Arrow
Label: PARTISAN RECORDS





Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

Heartless Bastards' lead singer Erika Wennerstorm has always had the type of voice that can stop traffic and mesmerize the listener, but on Arrow, the band's fourth studio release, she displays a burning intensity that wasn't quite there on previous efforts. There’s plenty of breathing room in these arrangements – acoustic guitars, solitary bass lines, ebb and flow dynamics – but it is the key addition of new members Mark Nathan, Jesse Ebaugh and Dave Colvin, plus amazing production by the band and producer Jim Eno that puts the album over the top and makes Arrow the best release of 2012 thus far.
~Jivewired (read our review)


05. In The Dead Of Summer by Desi and Cody
from the album In The Dead Of Summer
Label: HORTON RECORDS



Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

The duo are based out of Tulsa, OK and they are simply magnificent.  They play off each other perfectly, which on the surface isn't as easy as it seems.  Everything flows naturally without force or coerced suggestion, which is to say that the two are more of a, you know, duet, than a cheesy nightclub performing act.  They're just two artists who dig on each other personally and musically and it shows throughout their performances.  Their music does the talking and their stage interaction underscores their talent as musicians.  And the music is amazing.
~Jivewired (read our review) 


06.  Hold On by Alabama Shakes
from the album Boys & Girls
Label: ATO RECORDS



Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

The Shakes’ musical approach is laid back — simple riffs that sway and build laid down over fertile grooves. There’s nothing elaborate and no need to be because within a few bars, Brittany Howard comes in with a voice that rattles the room and shakes the soul. Already visually arresting — it’s not often you see a bespectacled, full-figured black woman with red electric guitar strapped over her shoulder fronting a rock ‘n’ roll band — when Howard opens her mouth and sings, it’s like completing a circuit.
~Associated Press via The Washington Journal


07. Only For You by Heartless Bastards
from the album Arrow
Label: PARTISAN RECORDS



Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

Heartless Bastards' lead singer Erika Wennerstorm has always had the type of voice that can stop traffic and mesmerize the listener, but on Arrow, the band's fourth studio release, she displays a burning intensity that wasn't quite there on previous efforts. There’s plenty of breathing room in these arrangements – acoustic guitars, solitary bass lines, ebb and flow dynamics – but it is the key addition of new members Mark Nathan, Jesse Ebaugh and Dave Colvin, plus amazing production by the band and producer Jim Eno that puts the album over the top and makes Arrow the best release of 2012 thus far.  
~Jivewired (read our review)


08. Electromagnetic Force by The Wanton Looks
from the album The Wanton Looks
Label: HAUGHTY EYES RECORDS



Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

Though The Wanton Looks were probably not even born at the time,  the all-female Chicago quartet appear to have a direct line back to early 1980s L7, back when punk and garage rock were not a term of abuse or dilution and alt-fashion and resistance to New Romaticism was on par with an anti-nuclear protest.  Look, The Wanton Looks bring the heat - the guitars are detonative, the bass lines are aureate and those female voices resemble sirens, coaxing you on to their rocks with angst and fury and swimming in lust and extravagance , i.e. wantonness.  Bombshells.  Sirens.  Incendiary. Yes, the band is aptly named.  The music is just as sexy.
~Jivewired (read our review)


09.  Simple Song by The Shins
from the album Point Of Morrow
Label: AURAL APOTHECARY



Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

Despite all the hullabaloo about band members getting "fired," the fact is that James Mercer isn't a member of the Shins-- he is the Shins, and he always has been. In a recent interview, he expressed his frustration over how to represent that specificity: "Bands I really loved were these auteurs who presented themselves as bands-- Neutral Milk Hotel, the Lilys-- and I just felt, 'Why am I not allowed to do that?'" Consider Port of Morrow, then, the results of an auteur's accepting that role while having a load of fun with his friends in order to realize it. Comeback stories don't get much better than that.
~Larry Fitzmaurice, Pitchfork Magazine


10.  Lost In My Mind by The Head & The Heart
from the album The Head & The Heart
Label: SUB POP RECORDS



Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

The debut by this Seattle indie-folk group suffers slightly from an abundance of niceness: Even the ostensibly edgy moments, as in the regret-filled "Honey Come Home," resolve with jaunty piano and declarations of love. But the Head and the Heart sell their rootsy sincerity - file alongside the Avett Brothers, Mumford & Sons, Low Anthem - with irresistibly hooky harmonies. Occasional dips into sappiness ("Sounds Like Hallelujah") are mitigated by unstoppable sing-alongs ("Ghosts"). You can practically smell the campfire.
~Josh Modell, Spin Magazine


11.  KILLA by tUnE-yArDs
from the album w h o k i l l
Label: 4AD RECORDS



Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

w h o k i l l, Garbus' second album as tUnE-yArDs, delivers on the promise of her 2009 debut, BiRd-BrAiNs. Unlike that album, which she recorded almost entirely on her own using a digital voice recorder and the sound editing program Audacity, w h o k i l l was mostly made in traditional studios in collaboration with bassist Nate Brenner, engineer Eli Crews, and a handful of other musicians. The music benefits from the increased professionalism, but Garbus has not abandoned her lo-fi aesthetic. As on BiRd-BrAiNs, Garbus layers sound to create a patchwork of contrasting textures. This time around, the greater clarity allows for more exaggerated dynamics. This is most apparent in "Gangsta", a carefully arranged track that evokes danger and fear with bluntly abbreviated blasts of horn noise and sounds that cut in and out erratically like a set of headphones with a busted wire or a cell phone that can't hold its signal. On the opposite end of the spectrum, she creates an almost unsettling intimacy on "Wooly Wolly Gong" by mixing the ambient hum of room sound with closely mic'd arpeggiated chords and vocals.
~Matthew Perpetua, Pitchfork Magazine


12.  Too Far Gone by Jared Lekites
from the album Star Map
Label: LEKITES MUSIC



Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

Jared Lekites is a fan of retro rock, namely bands like the Beatles and the Beach Boys and artists like Harry Nilsson and probably Van Morrison during his years with Them as well.  And it shows in his music, particularly the music on this disc.  Lekites takes a dramatic leap forward with his sophomore release.  I mean no disrespect toward his 2010 release Looking For Diamonds, which I reviewed last year.  But rather,  Lekites has perfected his craft here, pop influenced indie folk that leans heavily on a strong pretense of irresistible harmonies that embraces its eclectic semblance.
~Jivewired (read our review)


13. Lost In The Light by Bahamas
from the album Barchords
Label: BRUSHFIRE RECORDS



Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

Jurvanen’s restraint can be winning when it’s not taken too far. On album highlight “Lost in the Light,” he does a dead ringer for Bill Callahan’s lovely baritone over the delicate “ooh’s” of a choir. Here and elsewhere on the record, Jurvanen shows himself capable of crafting winsome tunes when he has the courage of his conviction. Perhaps rather than giving his songs so much space to grow, he should simply grow into his songs.
~Paste Magazine


14.  I'm Shakin' by Jack White
from the album Blunderbuss
Label: THIRD MAN RECORDS



Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

Within White's oeuvre, Blunderbuss hangs in a kind of limbo-- it's closer to earth than his fantastic White Stripes yet further away than the sometimes-pedestrian Raconteurs or Dead Weather. It's got some of his best pure songwriting yet, but no earth-cracking riffs. Still, as a treatise on loss and its schizophrenic aftermath, Blunderbuss is a purposeful success.
~Pitchfork Magazine


15.  I Found You by Alabama Shakes
from the album Boys & Girls
Label: ATO RECORDS



Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

The Shakes’ musical approach is laid back — simple riffs that sway and build laid down over fertile grooves. There’s nothing elaborate and no need to be because within a few bars, Brittany Howard comes in with a voice that rattles the room and shakes the soul. Already visually arresting — it’s not often you see a bespectacled, full-figured black woman with red electric guitar strapped over her shoulder fronting a rock ‘n’ roll band — when Howard opens her mouth and sings, it’s like completing a circuit.
~Associated Press via The Washington Journal


16. Laser Beams by Idle Warship
from the album Habits Of The Heart
Label: BLACKSMITH/ELEMENT 9



Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

Developed by free spirited soul siren Res, and stalwart rap veteran Talib Kweli through several years of live performances, Idle Warship began as an exercise in the type of musical eclecticism they displayed on 2009’s Party Robot mixtape. Habits of the Heart is powered by a more consistent aesthetic, mixing the trance-like synths of the ubiquitous “international” sound, dustily aggressive percussion and the frantically emotive vocals of Res into a neon hot digital soul gumbo. The opening notes of Enemy set a relentless pace for what unfolds as a mad dash down the path of the heart. From the intoxicating euphoria of the reggae tinged God Bless My Soul to the dizzying desperation of Covered in Fantasy, the album stays in motion through emotion.
~okayplayer 


17. Tulsa Yesterday by The Chris Robinson Brotherhood
from the album Big Moon Ritual
Label: SILVER ARROW RECORDS



Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

Big Moon Ritual by the Chris Robinson Brotherhood is an engrossing plunge into jam-based psychedelic rock replete with nine minute song swoops, extended funkified grooves and bemoaning vocals that is stellar southern bliss.  If you take Robinson's career, starting with his debut release with the Black Crowes (Shake Your Money Maker) and evolving through his solo career and now with the Chris Robinson Brotherhood, this bluesy debut jam is the next logical iteration for this dynamic artist. On Big Moon Ritual, Robinson extols his own musical idols, The Grateful Dead, The Allman Brothers Band, Creedence Clearwater Revival and even Led Zeppelin, and this homage is a soulful masterpiece.  Whereas the Black Crowes sound was football stadium sized in stature and virtue, the Chris Robinson Brotherhood is unabashedly Fillmore West.
~Jivewired (a href="http://blog.jivewired.com/2012/06/cd-review-big-moon-ritual-by-chris.html" target="_blank">(read our review)


18. Flowers In Your Hair by The Lumineers
from the album The Lumineers
Label: DUALTONE MUSIC



Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

The debut from this Colorado crew basically argues that a bunch of Americans can lead slowly-accelerating lovelorn singalongs just as well as UK yankophile Marcus Mumford, bringing fiddle scratching, marching-band snare rolls, parlor-room piano chords, and Kingston Trio guitar strumming to an album that’s long on nostalgic reverie.  But the central concern is present-tense lust and heartache, which this spirited band translates into a fine drunk-clogging soundtrack.
~ Rolling Stone Magazine 


19. Protocol by Gift Of Gab
from the album The Next Logical Progression
Label: QUANNUM PROJECTS



Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

For Blackalicious frontman Gift of Gab, his artistry has always lived outside of hip-hop’s fashionable margins, his old-school cadence as nostalgic as the dusty drum breaks he prefers. Over the years, that aesthetic has worked well for the veteran MC: he’s worked with everyone from ?uestlove to Zack de la Rocha, from Ledisi to the iconic Gil Scott-Heron. Through it all, the Gift of Gab has always remained true to himself, no matter how esoteric his blend of preachy rhymes and distinctive baritone. He’s unapologetic, lyrically seasoned, and has no problems reminding you of such.
~Paste Magazine 


20. Ho Hey by The Lumineers
from the album The Lumineers
Label: DUALTONE MUSIC



Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

The debut from this Colorado crew basically argues that a bunch of Americans can lead slowly-accelerating lovelorn singalongs just as well as UK yankophile Marcus Mumford, bringing fiddle scratching, marching-band snare rolls, parlor-room piano chords, and Kingston Trio guitar strumming to an album that’s long on nostalgic reverie.  But the central concern is present-tense lust and heartache, which this spirited band translates into a fine drunk-clogging soundtrack.
~ Rolling Stone Magazine  


21. Star Cannon by Jessie Baylin
from the album Little Spark
Label: BLONDE RAT



Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

"I'm sipping on your hidden stash of whiskey/A little drunker than you know," Jessie Baylin confesses with apt blurred enunciation in "Hurry Hurry." Actually, nothing moves fast in the music or the relationships on her third album. Baylin examines faltering affairs and resigns herself to a lot of waiting in a spacey kind of Dixie soul, like Portishead with a girlish Dusty Springfield at the mic. The effect, in "Joy Is Suspicious" and the title song, is both seductive and distant, as if she’s singing across miles of echo and doubt. This is an album of potent moods. But it would also be good to hear how Baylin, who is married to Kings of Leon drummer Nathan Followill, sounds when filled with joy.
~ Rolling Stone Magazine


22. Gettin' Tired by Shannon Labrie
from the album Shannon Labrie
Label: ZODLOUNGE



Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

Industry insiders have taken notice of Shannon’s passionate vocals, her matter-of-fact grungy guitar playing and her song writing that is full of words that are both “beautiful and devastating”. Music Connection Magazine reviewed Shannon’s EP and gave it the highest possible marks in their January 2012 issue, and has become a big supporter of Shannon. BMI featured her on their Indie pages in January as an artist to watch.
~ Artist Press Release


23. Three Tree Town by Ben Howard
from the album Every Kingdom
Label: REPUBLIC



Purchase:  Amazon | iTunes

Howard’s originality, though, is in his ability to create and reflect intimacy, to make his often opaque lyrics apposite and believable, and to always neatly wrap them in strong melodies and wiry rhythms. The album also benefits greatly from the ensemble playing of Howard’s bandmates, India Bourne and Chris Bond, who skilfully contribute a raft of instruments and complementary harmonies. The quality threshold is high throughout, whether it’s the pared down beauty of “Everything”, the empowering positive pop of “Keep Your Head Up”, or the epic gloom of “Black Flies”. Every Kingdom is quite a self-assured debut, delivered by a guy who could be your best friend and still date your sister.
~ The Consequence Of Sound



24. Some Nights by fun.
from the album Some Nights
Label: FUELED BY RAMEN



Purchase:  Amazon | iTunes

Nate Ruess, lead singer of the NYC indie-pop trio fun., might be the Platonic ideal of a 21st-century rock star. He has a huge voice, all snarl and Broadway panache; at his full-fathom best, he could send Adam Lambert scrambling for cover. His music blends classic bubble-pop tunefulness with rococo rock & roll – close harmony chorales, showy key changes, a dash of Queen here, a dollop of Les Miz there. In "We Are Young" (featuring Janelle MonĂ¡e), and 10 other rollickingly catchy songs, Ruess' knack for the anthemic is matched by Gen-Y humor – emo self-deprecation that leavens the bombast. "Some nights I rule the world/With bar lights and pretty girls," he sings. "But most nights I stay straight and think about my mom."
~ Rolling Stone Magazine


25. Haunted Heart by little hurricane
from the album Homewrecker
Label: Unknown Breakthrough LLC



Purchase:  Amazon | iTunes

There’s plenty here to soothe an aching heart, though. “Shortbread” is slow-burning, with Spina and Catalano once again showcasing their back-and-forth vocal delivery. There’s also enough emotion spinning around the record, but it’s never bogged down by too much sweetness. “You can write me a love song/you can love me all you want,” Catalano sings, with just the right dose of conviction to knock you over. Hurricane, indeed.

While there’s no escaping their rock and blues roots, these two employ enough of pop sensibility to keep things interesting. At times, the sound is confined by studio walls, as though these songs are caged, just waiting to get outside. Little Hurricane are no doubt headed for the festival circuit to play high-energy tracks like “Haunted Heart” to young whippersnappers who are eager to find the next big thing before the rest of the internet does.
~ The Consequence Of Sound

Fifteen That Just Missed:

26. Gaucho by The Dave Matthews Band
27. Friends & Family by River City Extension
28. Look The Other Way by Justin Townes Earle
29. Rosalee by The Chris Robinson Brotherhood
30. Stay Useless by The Cloud Nothings
31. Dog Days Comin' by Desi & Cody
32. Millie Mae by Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds
33. September by Modern Rock Diaries
34. Raise Hell by Brandi Carlile
35. Honky Tonk Heroes by Wink Burcham
36. Take It by Spinto Band
37. Eighth Street by Hospitality
38. Somebody That I Used To Know by Gotye (featuring Kimbra)
39. Serpents by Sharon Van Etten
40. I Died Today by Palmer

See Also: Mike's Picks For 2011

*Note: Listening statistics are provided by Live365 as part of our contractual agreement as a Pro Station Broadcaster. Jivewired currently has a total of 24,137 songs in our library that are played randomly at any given time, with about 2,500 songs programmed for airplay in any given month.

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